5 Expert Tips To Ensure Your Franchise Restaurant’s Catering Orders Go Out Smoothly
Catering is a great way to build your franchise restaurant’s brand within the community while also bringing in extra income. (You can read even more great reasons to offer catering by checking out our recent blog post here.) But, if your business isn’t equipped to handle the challenges of offering catering services, then trying to meet the demand efficiently and effectively can be a logistical nightmare.
So, what can you do to make sure orders go out smoothly? Here our expert tips.
Get Orders Right The First Time
This seems like a no-brainer, but because of the long line of variables in catering food prep logistics, order mistakes happen all the time. Ensuring your team collects orders accurately at the outset will leave your customers far more satisfied with your services. It will also prevent losses due to inaccurate deliveries. Always double check the order before it goes out the door.
One of the best ways to help ensure order accuracy is to accept orders via an online platform. That’s not to say orders still can’t go wrong from time to time. But, online ordering prevents the types of miscommunications that occur as a result of bad cell connections. In fact, our team at Catering Brand felt this was so important we built our business around it.
Prepare In Advance
Think the plateware and eating utensils you have the serve your restaurant are going to cut it when it comes to fulfilling catering orders? Rushing to the grocery store each time you run out of disposable forks adds up quickly. It’s imperative to ensure you have more than enough napkins, packaging, and condiments to handle catering orders.
Preparing doesn’t just mean you have an adequate food supply and an overstock of disposable catering trays for when that mega-order comes in unexpectedly. It means truly taking the time to optimize your own orders with wholesalers so you’re getting the best prices all across the supply chain.
It also means ensuring you have extra staff on hand to take care of the orders. If your staff is trying to prepare 1,000 extra sandwiches during a busy lunch rush, things are bound to go wrong.
Pro tip: Labeling ingredients and clearly marking vegetarian/vegan/gluten free options can take more time on your end, but your customers will be grateful for your consideration. Also, always be sure to include more condiments with your catering order than you think you need.
Deliver on Time
The number one thing that can damage your relationship with a catering customer is a late delivery. If there’s not enough time for proper setup before attendees arrive to eat, this can make the company hosting the event look bad. The customer may never order from you again and may even leave a bad review of your business.
While you don’t necessarily need to hire a full-time delivery person for your franchise restaurant’s catering business, it’s important to ensure you have someone available and have access to a vehicle that can handle larger orders. Our team at Catering Brand provides simple and straightforward delivery options for all your catering orders. Also, drivers should always leave with plenty of time to spare in the event of traffic congestion or road blockages that may cause delivery delays.
Stay in Touch with Past Customers
Optimize delivery orders by learning from your customers. Get feedback from them and apply those learnings to future orders.
One of the benefits using an online ordering portal like Catering Brand is that it gives you easy access to your customers’ information. Instead of having to ask them for pivotal information such as credit card numbers and addresses each time they order, this information is already on file. This helps them speed through the ordering and checkout process, which can be valuable to a busy office manager or event planner.
At Catering Brand, we assign each of our clients a relationship manager. Your designated relationship manager will work with you to reach out to previous catering customers via email to update them on new services, or simply to thank them for their business. Strategies like this can encourage them to order from you again.
Hire an Outside Company to Handle the Things You Can’t
In spite of the promise of increased revenue and business growth, many franchise restaurants are simply ill-equipped to handle the logistical challenges of developing a catering business. At Catering Brand, we realized the challenges that restaurant owners faced as they tried to launch catering businesses within their franchises.
That’s why we decided to help franchise restaurant owners break into the catering business by providing a platform to make it easy for restaurants to accept orders and deliver them.
Remember, your franchise restaurant’s catering arm is essentially a different business than restaurant management. This means there are different strategies involved in maximizing efficiency and profitability. But, when restaurant owners begin offer catering services, they can tap into their communities in new ways and provide revenue to help their businesses grow.